Mamaroneck High School senior tennis standout Tyler Sakakeeny has been selected as Mamaroneck High School/ Daily Voice Standout Student-Athlete this week.
Sakakeeny will attend Rice University this fall.
Brief overview of accomplishments/achievements according to varsity tennis coach Tim Hooker:
Tyler is a senior co-captain of the varsity squad.
With Tyler on board, the team has been able to make an almost perfect season of 12-1. Tyler is one of the most versatile players we have on the team. He plays third singles when we need or first doubles.
Tyler has great strokes to hit with the best of them in singles, but also has “hands of gold” at the net in doubles. Tyler has the smarts needed for the game of tennis: out think opponent, plan the next shot, out fox a fox, play it safe when down a break etc.
Last season Tyler played second doubles and had an undefeated record of 14-0. Quite impressive! Even though Tyler may be one of the best athletes I have seen on the Boys team in the last 10 years, it is not only his court sense/ complete game, but rather the way he “carries” himself on and off the court. Tyler no matter what the situation or how high the intensity level gets in the match, Tyler maintains his calmness and lets the racket do the talking. We play in the most difficult league in Section 1 tennis. I have never once seen Tyler lose his composure, but rather he keeps it together and rallies the team to victory time and time again.
A player like Tyler does not come thru the system every day, rather more like every 6-8 years if at all. We have been very fortunate to have Tyler in the program the past several years. Tyler is the “Derek Jeter” of MHS Varsity: style, grace and leads by example. I would like to congratulate Tyler on this wonderful achievement as a leader on the tennis team. Tyler and his doubles tennis partner, David Sollad placed 3rd at the conference meet and will be participation in the Sectional doubles tournament beginning Tuesday at Harrison HS.
Q&A with Tyler:
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not playing tennis I like to hang out with friends, play other sports like soccer or basketball, or read ("Game of Thrones" has been addicting). I’m also an avid horse racing fan and have recently been following the Triple Crown races.
Favorite restaurant in town?
Definitely the new burger place in Larchmont called Mooyah. Not the best pre-match fuel (learned that the hard way), but they have decent burgers and delicious milkshakes. I’ve already been there once today and half the staff knows who I am because I’m there so often.
Favorite subject in school
My favorite subject in school is a tie between Government & Politics and Spanish. Both classes are so applicable to daily life and I’m really lucky to have two excellent teachers for each of them. I’ve even been able to use my Spanish on the tennis court to avoid saying some ugly words too!
What are some reasons for your success?
I love to compete, and having the chance to play doubles with David and practice with Hope and Courage has helped my tennis improve both technically and mentally. Also, I’ve been surrounded by great people on the team since freshman year, and they motivate me to keep on improving and to fight during difficult situations. There’s nothing like playing the deciding match with your team cheering you on!
Biggest influence on varsity career?
I learned the most about being captain and being an important member of the team through watching the recently graduated seniors last year. They were excellent players and even better role models, and they really made tennis feel like a team sport.
My coach Tim Hooker has also played a big role in my varsity career by allowing me to develop on my own accord and knowing when to give advice and when to let me figure things out myself. His focus is always on us playing our best and enjoying ourselves, and that philosophy actually helps us win - a lot!
Person you would most like to meet?
I’ve been a Novak Djokovic fan since I was 10, so I would have to say him. He’s a great tennis player with an amazing work ethic and a sense of humor, and a great person to look up to.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I couldn’t tell you where I see myself in five years, much less 10. The only thing I can tell you is that I’ll be somewhere warm.